The Tragedy of the Commons: Individual Freedom and Responsibility Crushed by Emergencies Act Sledgehammer

Commentary “A classic problem in environmental economics is the tragedy of the commons. The solution to it lies in property rights and supply management,” said Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, in a speech at Lloyd’s of London in London, UK, on Sept. 29, 2015. “Climate change is the Tragedy of the Horizon,” he continued. “We don’t need an army of actuaries to tell us that the catastrophic impacts of climate change will be felt beyond the traditional horizons of most actors—imposing a cost on future generations that the current generation has no direct incentive to fix.” The phrase “tragedy of the commons” has been used in economic theory since the early 19th century to describe how individual greed depletes common goods. The solution to that irresponsibility, as Carney noted, was a combination of individual property rights and public responsibilities. This balance reflected the importance of the private and public spheres acknowledged since time immemorial. A political scientist would add that property rights had advanced the political rights and freedoms of the commoner as well as the common good. It is no accident that property rights are concurrent with enfranchisement and the abolition of slavery. Ditto wealth creation and innovation. In his book “Ideas have Consequences,” Richard M. Weaver goes so far as to argue that private property provides a material basis for human sustenance and a resistance to dehumanization. Property rights are the “last metaphysical right.” They resist the unbalanced, gnostic, authoritarian impulse of Western scientism and communism. The fact that Canada’s 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains no recognition of property rights is thus no small omission. It has made Canada a beachhead for Carney’s unbalanced globalist supply management approach to avoiding tragedy. There are two things worth noting about Carney’s speech that are alarming beyond a lack of balance. Firstly, Carney, a prominent member of the World Economic Forum, like many in Canada’s Liberal government, used the analogy of a “horizon” to magnify tragedy to infinity. Doom is a pretty strong take on “tragedy.” Secondly, it effectively dooms the private sphere of individual freedom and responsibility. States of emergency, as we have seen for the past two years, are public declarations that limit and regulate private action through technology. According to all of their bad ideas, they believe they are legitimized to act as gods, determining good and evil for others. And thereby they impose a tragedy upon the commons. Police make an arrest on the 21st day of the trucker protest against COVID-19 mandates and restrictions, after the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act, in downtown Ottawa on Feb. 17, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang) It was thus entirely to be expected that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused even to speak to a convoy of commoners, citing their “unacceptable views.” It is unsurprising that he has never allowed freedom of conscience in his caucus, and that on the heels of the “emergency” of COVID, he invoked the sledgehammer of the Emergencies Act to deal with the dissent of individuals. And it is unsurprising that the NDP, which is similarly devoted to supply management and all of Trudeau’s other bad ideas, voted with him in the Canadian House of Commons, even against their own political base. Canada’s Mark Carney’s “tragedy of the horizon” first played out in Canada’s House of Commons. It is unsurprising that the Ontario government seized the protesters’ private property according to powers temporarily conferred upon it by the mere declaration of an “emergency.” It is likewise unsurprising that the banking sector was co-opted to seize and freeze the financial assets of those involved in the dissent of the truckers’ convoy. It is also unsurprising that both a digital currency and a digital ID are prominent among the plans of the international banking system. These will allow private property to be controlled by a central authority that directs from the “supply management” side of the equation in line with the U.N.’s Social Development Goals. The exorbitant enrichment of the technocratic elites is not a sign of their greed, but of their benevolence toward the Earth and the future. The power they have gained and the current misery the commons have suffered are nothing compared to the future good in which all, however much fewer in number they will be, will enjoy. It will be “sustainable.” After all, as Klaus Schwab has noted, “in future you will own nothing,” and “you’ll be happy.” What is surprising, however, is that the Emergencies Act was suddenly ended by Trudeau while it was being debated in the Senate. Rumours are that Bay Street alerted the prime minister of a bank run in Canada like none seen since the 1930s. The importance of the public trust of responsible individuals had escaped his present calculation, because the elites were looking fo

The Tragedy of the Commons: Individual Freedom and Responsibility Crushed by Emergencies Act Sledgehammer

Commentary

A classic problem in environmental economics is the tragedy of the commons. The solution to it lies in property rights and supply management,” said Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, in a speech at Lloyd’s of London in London, UK, on Sept. 29, 2015.

Climate change is the Tragedy of the Horizon,” he continued.

We don’t need an army of actuaries to tell us that the catastrophic impacts of climate change will be felt beyond the traditional horizons of most actors—imposing a cost on future generations that the current generation has no direct incentive to fix.”

The phrase “tragedy of the commons” has been used in economic theory since the early 19th century to describe how individual greed depletes common goods. The solution to that irresponsibility, as Carney noted, was a combination of individual property rights and public responsibilities. This balance reflected the importance of the private and public spheres acknowledged since time immemorial.

A political scientist would add that property rights had advanced the political rights and freedoms of the commoner as well as the common good. It is no accident that property rights are concurrent with enfranchisement and the abolition of slavery. Ditto wealth creation and innovation.

In his book “Ideas have Consequences,” Richard M. Weaver goes so far as to argue that private property provides a material basis for human sustenance and a resistance to dehumanization. Property rights are the “last metaphysical right.” They resist the unbalanced, gnostic, authoritarian impulse of Western scientism and communism.

The fact that Canada’s 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains no recognition of property rights is thus no small omission. It has made Canada a beachhead for Carney’s unbalanced globalist supply management approach to avoiding tragedy.

There are two things worth noting about Carney’s speech that are alarming beyond a lack of balance. Firstly, Carney, a prominent member of the World Economic Forum, like many in Canada’s Liberal government, used the analogy of a “horizon” to magnify tragedy to infinity. Doom is a pretty strong take on “tragedy.” Secondly, it effectively dooms the private sphere of individual freedom and responsibility. States of emergency, as we have seen for the past two years, are public declarations that limit and regulate private action through technology.

According to all of their bad ideas, they believe they are legitimized to act as gods, determining good and evil for others.

And thereby they impose a tragedy upon the commons.

Epoch Times Photo
Police make an arrest on the 21st day of the trucker protest against COVID-19 mandates and restrictions, after the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act, in downtown Ottawa on Feb. 17, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

It was thus entirely to be expected that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused even to speak to a convoy of commoners, citing their “unacceptable views.”

It is unsurprising that he has never allowed freedom of conscience in his caucus, and that on the heels of the “emergency” of COVID, he invoked the sledgehammer of the Emergencies Act to deal with the dissent of individuals. And it is unsurprising that the NDP, which is similarly devoted to supply management and all of Trudeau’s other bad ideas, voted with him in the Canadian House of Commons, even against their own political base.

Canada’s Mark Carney’s “tragedy of the horizon” first played out in Canada’s House of Commons.

It is unsurprising that the Ontario government seized the protesters’ private property according to powers temporarily conferred upon it by the mere declaration of an “emergency.”

It is likewise unsurprising that the banking sector was co-opted to seize and freeze the financial assets of those involved in the dissent of the truckers’ convoy.

It is also unsurprising that both a digital currency and a digital ID are prominent among the plans of the international banking system. These will allow private property to be controlled by a central authority that directs from the “supply management” side of the equation in line with the U.N.’s Social Development Goals.

The exorbitant enrichment of the technocratic elites is not a sign of their greed, but of their benevolence toward the Earth and the future. The power they have gained and the current misery the commons have suffered are nothing compared to the future good in which all, however much fewer in number they will be, will enjoy. It will be “sustainable.”

After all, as Klaus Schwab has noted, “in future you will own nothing,” and “you’ll be happy.”

What is surprising, however, is that the Emergencies Act was suddenly ended by Trudeau while it was being debated in the Senate.

Rumours are that Bay Street alerted the prime minister of a bank run in Canada like none seen since the 1930s. The importance of the public trust of responsible individuals had escaped his present calculation, because the elites were looking forward to the time when it would no longer matter.

It won’t matter much longer. The window of opportunity to act against the mandarins in charge is closing fast.

The tragedy of the horizon is destroying the commons.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Scott Masson is a public intellectual and an associate professor of English literature. For more information on Masson, visit ScottMasson.ca and YouTube.com/c/DrScottMasson